Before Business Cards: Trade Card Designs From the Victorian Era

Between 1870 and 1890, the most common and visible way to spread word about your business was through the form of “trade cards,” the predecessor to the modern business card. America shops would give them out after the sale of a product, and in turn, people would collect them and paste them in their scrapbooks. The most advertised cards in those days included medicine, food, tobacco, clothing, household and sewing items, stoves and farm supplies.

Mapping The San Francisco of Yesteryear

Built with almost no regard for the hills that dominate its landscape, San Francisco’s grid like street layout and near vertical roads are unique in the world of cities. The “City by the Bay” really started growing after the California gold rush started booming in the late 1840’s, so by the time the gorgeous map featured here was made in 1912, the city looked remarkably like it does today. What was missing were many of the attractions the city is now best known for: noticeably absent is Pier 39 and the very crooked section of Lombard Street. Also yet to be built: the Golden Gate Bridge.